PETER BRANSON A passion for the job
Full inter view - Page 3
COLIN BARRATT Many happy returns Column - Page 5
An EXAMINER publication
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees
Campervan firms log record orders
TWO camper van manufacturers have achieved record sales at a major show – giving them full order books and raising the prospect of more jobs. Shepley-based Wellhouse Leisure and partner IH Motorhomes, of Knottingley, are gearing up production following the successful launch of their new campervan models at the Motorhome and Caravan Show at the NEC in Birmingham. The new Wellhouse Ford Terrier is the first UK campervan conversion based on the Ford Tourneo Custom – the luxury people carrier version of the Ford Transit Custom. Meanwhile, three all-new vehicles from IH were launched at the show, including an innovative slide-out model on a panel van conversion. The level of orders booked mean both manufacturers can keep their factories busy throughout the winter months – and are even considering hiring extra staff. Both firms also found out that their new models have been shortlisted for The Motorhome Awards 2014, organised by Which Motorhome and MMM magazines. The results will be announced in December. Wellhouse Leisure and IH are no strangers to winning awards – and both have invested large amounts of time and money over the last few months in the innovative new models they unveiled to
the public. Wellhouse Leisure’s Wellhouse Ford Terrier links the company to its Yorkshire roots – and the official mascot of Huddersfield Town. David Elliott, managing director of Wellhouse Leisure, said: ‘We’ve worked really hard to be the first UK company to launch a campervan conversion on the new Ford, so I’m delighted with the sales of our new Ford Terrier as well as our other successful campervan, the Hyundai i800 camper, at the show. “This means we can keep the factory in full production, and may even take on an apprentice.” The new Wellhouse Ford Terrier, priced £39,500, is the same size as a family estate car, making it easy to use every day – yet offers masses of space for family, pets or gear. It quickly converts to a home from home with an elevating roof, kitchen with fridge, sink and cooker and seating for five people. Specifications include front and rear parking sensors, air conditioning, Bluetooth, a heated driver’s seat and rear privacy glass. Va n c o nv e r s i o n s p e c i a l i s t i H Motorhomes launched a range of innovations at the show and grabbed the public’s attention with a Lamborghini lime green-coloured model of its new N-Class range. Ian Hartley, managing director of iH
■ MOBILE HOME: Wellhouse Leisure's Wellhouse Ford Terrier (above) and managing director David Elliott
Motorhomes, said: “Launching so many new models meant our stand was the busiest ever, and we’re delighted that this has translated into record sales at a show, and a bulging order book to keep us extra busy over the coming months.” Wellhouse Leisure is a leader in everyday, compact campervans, and also an approved supplier of Reimo parts and accessories for campervan conversions. It produces more than 200 vehicles a year from its factory, bodyshop and showroom at Shepley.
Supplying the goods for Chinese university A CONSULTANCY focusing on supply chain and logistics issues has signed a ground-breaking deal in China. SCALA, which is based at Huddersfield’s Media Centre, has signed a collaboration agreement with Ningbo University of Technology to work together and provide supply chain and logistics as well as external consultancy, training and research for the university and commercial organisations. The deal was signed by SCALA managing director John Perry and Zhu Zhanfeng, dean of the university’s school of economics and management. Ningbo is the fourth-largest port in the world and has a population of 8m.
■ DEAL: SCALA boss John Perry
The city is famous for its fashion and clothing sector. SCALA will set up its first office in China in early 2014 – focusing on helping Chinese businesses to develop their internal and external supply chains. SCALA is also supporting
Chinese businesses in European markets and European businesses entering China. The agreement was signed following detailed discussions with Zhong Xiaofei, Director of Foreign Affairs and the Party Committee and with Ruan Dongbo, Vice Director of Foreign Affairs. SCALA Consulting, formed in 2001, works for top UK and international companies to drive supply chain improvement and provides high quality independent, objective expertise. The company works in partnership with its clients, combining external knowledge, expertise and innovation with clients’ own business understanding to drive real business bene-
fits. SCALA is a leader in supply chain benchmarking and manages a Best Practice Forum for more than 25 major manufacturers. It also runs The Fresh Connection, a business simulation competition which provides intensive learning in supply chain strategy. Clients include major names such as Biffa, DHL, Clipper, Kimberley-Clark, Cadbury, Heinz and Reckitt Benckiser. Mr Perry decided to establish SCALA while in a pizza restaurant in 2001 in Florence, Italy. Before that, he worked in commercial and operations management roles for a number of major retailers and was regional director for Tate & Lyle.
INSIDE Inspiring enterprise MORE than 70 budding tycoons heard an inspirational talk from Brighouse-based young entrepreneur Jacob Hill at an event in West Yorkshire. Jacob, who runs The Lazy Camper, selling camping kits in a bag to festival-goers, was speaking in his role as Virgin Media Pioneers’ Yorkshire and Humber Ambassador at the event, which was part of Leeds Business Week. The talk gave young people starting out in business the chance to learn about funding and marketing and discuss issues facing start-ups.
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Upgrade for hotel A LANDMARK hotel in Huddersfield has invested a six-figure sum in upgrading its bedrooms. The Briar Court Hotel at Birchencliffe is close to completing the refurbishment of its 48 bedrooms. And local companies have been drafted in for the project at the hotel, which opened in 1987 and is owned by the Bevilacqua family, who also own the site’s De Sandros restaurant.
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Branches to go in bank rescue deal THE Co-operative Group has confirmed plans to hand control of its troubled banking arm to a group of powerful investors – in a rescue plan that will mean the loss of about 50 branches. The funerals-to-supermarkets group said owners of its bonds, including US hedge funds, will be given 70% of the Co-operative Bank, leaving it with just 30% of the lender. The revised rescue plan aims to plug a £1.5bn black hole in the bank’s finances. The Co-op Group had initially hoped to retain control of the ethical lender by giving bond investors a minority stake in return for a £500m loss on their debt. But bondholders, including US hedge funds Aurelius Capital Management and Silver Point Capital, will take control of the bank under the new plan, which will see it listed on the stock market next year.
The Co-op said its values and ethics will be “legally embedded” in the lender’s new rules. Investors must now vote to back the plan and the Co-op warned that the bank will fall into state hands through the resolution process if they do not, leaving investors empty-handed. It also announced plans to close about 50 of its 324 bank branches, about 15% of its estate, without revealing how many jobs will go among the lender’s 9,000 staff. But Co-op Group chief executive Euan Sutherland admitted there will be “significant’’ job losses, saying that staff will be informed first. The company also aims to slash costs across its call centres, while investing in digital and self-service banking. The group, which traces its roots to 1844 when a number of workers known as the Rochdale Pioneers pooled resources, took out advertise-
■ BANK STATEMENT: The Co-operative Group said there would be ‘significant’ job losses at its bank
ments in national newspapers to reassure customers that the bank will retain its ethical approach. It insisted the lender has not seen a customer exodus, despite the involvement of hedge funds, adding that the bank will only be able to use the Co-op name while the ethical principles remain embedded in its constitution.
Ryanair in profit alert
Mr Sutherland said: “We recognise the huge importance of ethics and values for all our customers and remain committed to upholding them.” Its turnaround is expected to take four to five years and will shift its focus to households and small and medium-sized businesses. The Co-op added that the bank’s outlook remains “challenging”, although monthly bad debt charges have fallen. The fundraising has been forced on the bank by City regulators after it endured heavy losses in recent years, including a half-year loss of £709.4m, following its takeover of Britannia Building Society in 2009. The Co-op said the plan has been backed by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority, who are demanding it finds £1.5bn of capital as a buffer against future crises.
Outdoor retail firm expanding
Weir warns over profits
THE founder of Mountain Warehouse has set his sights on more new stores after regaining full control of the outdoor business in an £85m deal. Chief executive Mark Neale, who built the retail chain from a single store in Swindon in 1997, believes there is room for as many as 300 outlets, with market towns and popular walking-tour destinations among his targets. There are currently 169 stores employing 1,200 people, following the addition of 60 outlets during its period of minority ownership by the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group since August 2010.
PUMPS and valves manufacturer Weir Group issued a warning over profits after reporting delays on the delivery of key projects.. The Glasgow-based group, which has a valves business at Elland, blamed “further project delays in minerals and a more gradual than anticipated recovery in upstream oil and gas markets” for the expected dip in earnings. The group said full-year profits are also expected to take a hit of between £8m and £12m on unfavourable currency movements, including the weakness of the US and Australian dollar and most emerging market
Mr Neale said: “Having had four private equity investors over the last 16 years, we have now taken the opportunity to buy back full control and to push ahead with our exciting expansion plans.” The management buy-out, which values the whole business at £85m, has been backed by Royal Bank of Scotland and Alcentra, part of BNY Mellon. Mr Neale said like-for-like sales were up 10% so far this year and that business had more than doubled online. Recent store openings include ones in Harrogate, Whitstable and Totnes.
currencies. Full-year profits before exceptional items are expected to be in the region of £425m and £435m. Full-year revenues are now expected to be broadly flat. The group said third quarter revenue and profits were “slightly below” expectations. Weir said its minerals division saw a 2% fall in orders over a 39-week period, while original equipment orders were down by 11%. While the FTSE 100 gained ground – closing up 28.9 points to 6763.6 – Weir lost nearly 4%, down by 83p to 2173p.
LOW-COST airline Ryanair warned its profits will be hammered this winter by downward pressure on fares. The Dublin-based carrier expects a 9% drop in average fares for the current quarter and a possible decline of 10% in the three months after Christmas. Issuing its second profits warning in as many months, Ryanair said its surplus for the year to March 31 may dip as low as 500m euro – £423.3m – from the 569m euro achieved a year earlier. For the period to September 30 – when airlines make most of their money – Ryanair recorded profits growth of 1% to 602m euro (£509.7m). Average fares fell by 2% in the half year, although revenues from areas such as the roll out of reserved seating, priority boarding and higher credit debit card fees grew by 22% to 713m euro (£603.7m). The airline also announced it will move to fully allocated seating on all Ryanair flights from February. Passengers who do not pay five euro (£4.23) to select their seats will be allocated them during the 24 hours prior to the date of departure. It said the policy was in response to customer feedback. The airline, which is led by chief executive Michael O’Leary, also cut its profits guidance in September, when it said it expected to make about 570m euro (£482.7m) for the current financial year.
SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £51.27 -0.24 Gannett 1747.34 -1.88 Hess Corp £50.94 +0.20 Microsoft £22.42 +0.15 Motors Liquidation 47.02 Wal-Mart Stores £48.59 +0.27 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 5551/2 +7 BAE Systems 455 -3/4 Rolls-Royce 1136 -7 AIM Brady Plc 70 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 3667/8 -27/8 BANKS Barclays 2551/8 -11/8 HSBC 703 +153/4 Lloyds Banking Gp 77 -5/8 Ryl Scotland 3313/4 -81/4 Stan Chart 1519 +131/2 BEVERAGES Diageo 19901/2 +11 SABMiller £325/8 +1/4 CHEMICALS Croda £245/8 +1/8 Elementis 98 2611/4 +23/8 1 Johnsn Mat £30 /4 +1/4 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 2841/4 +21/4 Costain 281 ELECTRICITY
Drax Gp 6481/2 +7 SSE 1411 -2 ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 2533/4 +33/8 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 4503/4 +17/8 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 3771/4 -13/8 Cable & Wireless 461/2 -1/4 Comm 3 Colt Group 123 /8 +3/8 KCOM 100 -1/4 1 Talktalk Telecom 262 /2 -13/4 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 281 -1/2 Sainsbury 3951/4 +11/4 1 Tesco 362 /2 -7/8 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food £221/2 Tate Lyle 7831/2 -4 +1/4 Unilever £251/4 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3551/8 +1/4 National Grid 7801/2 Pennon Grp 675 -61/2 Severn 1821 -40 United Utils 692 -10 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 3751/4 +11/8 ICAP 3811/2 -11/2 London StockExch 1626 -5 5 Man Group 88 /8 -1/4 Provident Financial 1559 +2
Schroders £261/4 +1/8 Schroders NV £211/2 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS REXAM 5231/2 +6 Smiths Grp 1443 +20 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 261/2 +1/2 Carphone Whse 256 -23/4 Dixons Retail 487/8 +3/8 Home Retail 1991/8 +7/8 Inchcape 632 -31/2 Kingfisher 3761/2 -3 M&S 4871/8 -75/8 3 Mothercare 380 /4 -71/2 Next £551/8 +3/8 WH Smith 915 -51/2 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 801 -31/2 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 129 +1 Barrat Dev 3353/4 -31/4 Persimmon 1267 -6 Reckitt Benckiser £473/4 -1/8 Taylor Wimpey 1103/4 -3/8 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IMI 1535 +17 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 1891/4 +51/4 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 341 -5/8 LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 4467/8 -7/8
2177/8 +13/4 2023/4 +11/2 1290 +5 3591/2 +1/2 3553/4 +45/8 MEDIA BSkyB 9431/2 +1/2 D Mail Tst 8131/2 -5 1 HIBU /8 1 ITV 193 /8 +21/8 Johnston Press 151/2 Pearson 1297 -1 Reed Elsevier 876 +81/2 1 STV Group 322 /2 -1/2 Trinity Mirror 1301/2 +11/2 Utd Business 696 +101/2 UTV 220 +5 WPP 1345 +19 MINING Anglo American 14941/2 +341/2 Antofagasta 8631/2 +261/2 BHP Billiton 19491/2 +301/2 3 Eurasian Natural 227 /4 +151/4 Res Fresnillo 1001 +431/2 Kazakhmys 2593/8 +53/8 1 Lonmin 325 /2 +53/4 Rio Tinto £327/8 +1 VEDANTA 1087 +23 RESOURCES MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 730 +51/2 Vodafone Group 230 -21/2 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1276 -4 Lgl & Gen Old Mutual Prudential Resolution Standard Life
Local shares Carclo Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp
378 1771/4 7801/2 £213/4
+1/2 +11/4 -7/8
FTSE closed at
6763.62 Up 28.88 RSA Insurance Gp 1291/8 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 1283 BP 4891/4 Cairn Energy 2851/4 Royal Dutch Shell £21 A Royal Dutch Shell £217/8 B Total £373/4 Tullow Oil 949 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 1175 Petrofac 1443 Wood Gp(J) 7961/2
+7/8 +13 +41/2 +11/4
-1/4 +5 +2 +1 +61/2
PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1525 -3 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £327/8 GlaxoSmithK 71/2 Shire £281/4 +3/8 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 6161/2 +5 Hamrsn 528 +1/2 3 Intu Properties 345 /4 +21/2 Land Secs 985 +9 SEGRO 3235/8 +3/8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Invensys 503 -1/2 Sage Group 3381/4 +11/8 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 9631/2 -161/2 Bunzl 1373 -5 Capita 985 -1/2 De La Rue 8521/2 +10 Electrocomp 296 +1/8 Experian 1258 +11 G4S 254 -3/4 Hays 1231/2 -1/4 1 Homeserve 239 /8 +11/8 Menzies J 8101/2 -31/2 Rentokil 1057/8 -1/8 Smiths News 209 -3 1 Wolseley £33 /8 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 967 -9 Spirent Comms 1085/8 -3/4 TOBACCO
Br Am Tob £343/8 Imperial Tobacco £231/8 LEISURE & HOTELS Bwin.Party Digital 1193/8 Carnival £221/2 Compass Grp 900 easyJet 1230 Enterprise Inns 146 FirstGroup 1153/8 Go-Ahead Gp 1629 Greene King 8281/2 Intercontl Htls 1794 Intl Cons Airl 3513/4 Ladbrokes 1903/8 Mitchells & Butlers 4043/4 Natl Express 256 Rank Org 1471/4 Stagecoach Group 350 TUI Travel 3791/4 Whitbread £341/2
-1/4 +1/8 +61/2 -66 -11/4 -3/4 +3 -1/2 -11 -21/8 -3/8 -13/4 -13/4 +33/4 -15/8 -3/4
Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia..................... 1.59 dollars Bangladesh................ 116.62 taka Brazil............................ 3.21 reals Canada...................... 1.58 dollars China ........................... 8.69 yuan Czech Republic .... 28.04 korunas Denmark..................... 8.38 krone Euro.............................. 1.13 euro Hong Kong............... 11.72 dollars Hungary................. 313.62 forints India........................ 86.72 rupees Japan......................... 149.65 yen Mexico ...................... 18.50 pesos New Zealand ............. 1.79 dollars Norway ....................... 9.06 krone Pakistan................ 160.56 rupees Philippines ................ 59.09 pesos South Africa................ 15.14 rand South Korea............. 1476.00 won Sri Lanka .............. 197.05 rupees Sweden....................... 9.94 krona Switzerland................ 1.39 francs Taiwan ..................... 40.91 dollars Turkey...................... 3.02 new lira USA ........................... 1.52 dollars
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Taking pride in doing a ‘real job’ AS an investment banker in the frenzied financial world of the City, Peter Branson enjoyed an enviable lifestyle. The 47-year-old chief executive of Huddersfield’s Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice looks back on those heady days and seems almost apologetic as he recalls: “I was living in London and I had two TVRs and a Range Rover. I was being paid ludicrous amounts of money for doing something that wasn’t doing much good for anyone else!” But he was gaining valuable experience which would eventually benefit scores of families in his current role at the hospice, which he joined in September, 2010. Peter was brought up in Kenya, where his father was working for ICI. Then as now, it was a dangerous place for westerners to work. “As a child, you only remembered the good bits,” he says. “You didn’t think about the fact that there were bars on the windows and guards patrolling the perimeter fencing.” Peter’s family returned to Britain when he was nine. He went to school in Birmingham and gained a degree in economics at Exeter University before joining a graduate training scheme with NatWest. After three or four months, he decided he wanted to go into the dealing room as a trader. “My graduate training manager said I couldn’t do that because they didn’t put graduates into the dealing room,” he says. “The only way I could do so was to resign and hope they would hire me in the dealing room.” Peter took the gamble and was told he would be taken on if he agreed to turn up for work at 6am every morning for three months so he could be trained. “I made sure I got there and they gave me a job,” he says. Peter worked for NatWest and later First National Bank of Chicago, SPC Warburg and Deutsche Bank. But he says: “Throughout those 10 years as an investment banker, I never thought of it as a ‘real’ job,
People I went to school and regular monitoring. Peter says: university with had become “It gave me a tiny glimpse into teachers or nurses – things I what the families we support considered to be real jobs.” have to deal with on a daily But Peter’s experiences did basis.” introduce him to the charity The other reason? “My sector. “I used to travel into the father always instilled in me a city and walk from Charing strong sense that you should Cross station, along the use whatever talents you have Strand and Covent Garden to to the best of your ability. I the bank,” he says. “And I have always believed that if would see the same people you can do something to sleeping rough in the make a difference, then you doorways every morning. I got must. I was very fortunate in involved with Shelter and having a great education – supported them financially and and lots of people who have as a volunteer.” given me my chances along In a bid to broaden his skills, the way.” Peter took a post with food Peter’s appointment at the giant Mars “because they had hospice marked the start of a a great reputation for new phase of development. developing the skills of their “The trust needed to take the people and giving them an next step, which was to start all-round experience”. During delivering on the promises his six years with the company, that had been made to the he built up its pet foods community,” says Peter. “The business from an idea drawn challenge was to turn those up on one side of an A4-sized promises into reality.” piece of paper to a substantial Just before Peter joined, the organisation employing trust made its commitment to hundreds. “It was a massively build a hospice to complement valuable experience and its “hospice at home” service. taught me all sorts – how to do “We were committed to things and how not to do spending £2m out of reserves things,” says Peter. “A lot of that had been built up over that experience I have been many years.” he says. “We able to bring to my role at the knew that something quite hospice.” significant had to happen in Before taking up that role, terms of growing our income Peter spent seven years with to build the hospice and the Prince’s Trust, heading its deliver the service they had Yorkshire and Humber set out to deliver seven years operations and later also before. overseeing its North East and “There were a number of East Midlands arms. people who did not believe it Peter’s contribution to the would be done. I had no doubt hospice has been telling. He likens its growth to that of a small business. “We have grown in the past couple of years from having a dozen staff to 90 people and from £400,000 income to £2.8m. That’s very significant growth. “We have to deal with all the issue that a small business faces – health and safety, financial procedures – to ensure everything is stable.” Peter’s passion for the job is partly a result of his own experiences. His son Aslan, now three, was seriously ill and spent three months in hospital. Although the crisis ■ SETTLED: Peter Branson is passed, he has an ongoing happy to call Yorkshire home condition which requires
that it could. At the Prince’s Trust, I was involved in raising £3m a year, so I had the experience, and I wasn’t daunted by the task facing the hospice.” Peter’s business background has helped him build long-term partnerships with corporate supporters of the hospice – which has to meet running costs of £2.8m this year – through initiatives such as The 99ers Club, whereby member firms pay 99p a day to the hospice and get the opportunity to network and do business together. Another coup was to persuade Princess Beatrice to take on the role of patron. “We are confident that her continual involvement will help to raise awareness of the hospice,” says Peter. “We are talking about some things we can do with her next year.” Peter says: “We are here to make sure children and their families get whatever they need. We have had 120 referrals since we opened and currently we support about 60 children and families. But we know that across the area there are 700 that we could be supporting. My aim is to ensure that we never turn a child or family away. That means our costs will continue to increase. We have to continue to develop our income to help us meet our aims.” Away from work, Peter spends as much time as he can with his family. Their home high above Holmfirth is a “fabulous place” to bring up the children, he says, It’s also ideal for Peter’s main hobbies of mountain biking and photography. “I ride the bike to work quite often,” he says. “It keeps me vaguely fit, but it also allows for good thinking time. It’s probably better for the soul than the body!” And he adds: “I love Yorkshire. I am incredibly proud of the fact that both my children were born in Yorkshire. Of all the places I have lived, this is undoubtedly the best.”
Role: Chief executive Age: 47 Family: Married to Sarah with daughter Sky-Blue, aged six, and son Aslan, three Car: Land Rover Defender Holidays: Family holidays to France and Scotland – anywhere with lots of space to do outdoor things First job: At the age of 14 I spent four hours a week and Sundays gardening Best thing about job: Knowing that we are making such a difference Worst thing about job: It’s not the worst, but it’s the hardest – seeing every day what some children and families go through. We support them through unimaginable things Business tip: Don’t be afraid to share with all the people in your organisation the reason why you are there and why you are so passionate about it
West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice Work: Providing care and support to children with life-limiting conditions and their families across West Yorkshire Site: Bradley Phone: 01484 411041 Email: peter.branson@forget menotchild.co.uk Web: www.forget menotchild.co.uk
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Ex-footballer hits his financial target A FORMER Huddersfield Town player has joined an elite group of financial advisers. Mirfield-born Jonathan Dyson (pictured), who works for Ebor Asset Management, has gained Chartered Financial Planner accreditation and become an associate of the Personal Finance Society. The financial sector has been overhauled in recent years. Gaining chartered status means Mr Dyson has demonstrated professionalism, competence and the highest professional standards. Mr Dyson completed a business degree at Huddersfield University before playing professional football at Town and then transferring to Ebor as a financial adviser in 2003. David Dixon, principal at Bradford-based Ebor Asset Management, said: “We are very proud of Jonathan’s achievement.”
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Yorkshire SMEs set for expansion ALMOST all of Yorkshire’s small and medium-sized enterprises have plans to invest in growth over the next year, according to new research from Yorkshire Bank. The research, conducted as part of the Bank’s Business Week, also suggests that 95% of Yorkshire SMEs will invest in growing their business in 2014. UK-wide, the survey suggests that more than 4.5m SMEs (97%) have some plans to invest in growing their business in 2014. The survey also indicates that rather than looking to maintain the status quo or cutting back, keeping pace with demand was driving investment among Yorkshire businesses – with 59% citing this as being influential in their decision to invest in growth. Confidence is another major influence on the decision to invest with 61% of respondents citing optimism as an important factor in their decision making. Some 50% said there are no barriers at all for them to investment. SME investment in the next year could also be a significant contributor to Yorkshire and UK economic growth, according to the survey. The Yorkshire Bank research indicates that SMEs plan to invest an average of 7% of turnover on growth. Across the UK, based on official figures, this could be worth up to £160bn or £34,000 per business to the UK economy.
■ RESULTS: Alan Young
The top three identified investment areas for businesses in Yorkshire are new equipment and technology (37%), employing new staff (20%), and increased sales and marketing (33%). Alan Young, Yorkshire Bank’s regional director, said: “These are encouraging results and echo recent official growth figures. “They suggest many SMEs in Yorkshire are at the point where they feel more certain about investing in their businesses. “As the majority of UK companies are small and medium sized businesses, this has to be good for the economy as a whole. “It’s important that we recognise and understand that there are still barriers to growth for some busi-
nesses. ”Access to funding has changed across the market place, but it is available to well-managed businesses with strong plans for growth. “As part of our Business Week, we are opening our doors to businesses across the Yorkshire, and in partnership with local and national experts, offering SMEs the chance to understand what options and support are available to help them overcome the growth barriers they face.” Yorkshire Bank’s Business Week runs until November 8 and sees the banks’ network of 43 Business and Private Banking Centres across the UK, including those in Yorkshire, host more than 200 free events for local companies. More than 40 events taking place across Eastern England including ones at Newcastle and Leeds as well as dozens of seminars and conferences across the Yorkshire Bank network at locations including Bradford, Hull and Sheffield. The week includes sessions offering business and financial advice, networking opportunities and discussions on key issues affecting local areas and industry sectors as such as training, exporting, customer care and entrepreneurship. Speakers will include the bank’s own experts, such as chief economist Tom Vosa, local businesses and professional bodies. More details are available at www.ybonline.co.uk/business
Candle power works for Jo
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A FORMER events organiser is hoping for a bright future in business making scented candles. Jo Ribeiro set up Scented Events about a year ago to manufacture scented candles and host aromatherapy workshops for corporate events and hen parties where guests can learn about the fragrances and have fun creating their own products. She also developed a “pop-up scent bar” as a way of entertaining at larger events such as exhibitions, parties and weddings. Jo, who is a trained aromatherapist and a member of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists, works closely with Sue Lamb, a local designer and artist, to develop the candle range.
Now Scented Events has provided a bespoke candle range for Lindley-based Concepts Beauty to mark the first anniversary of its Lidget Street shop. Said Jo: “Last year, Concepts Beauty stocked our candles and we were delighted when Sharon Seymour, the owner, asked us to produce a range for their busy salon. “We hand-make all our own candles here in Huddersfield, so it’s great to work with another vibrant business in the local area.” Jo, who lives in Brighouse with her husband and five-year-old daughter, said: “We make the candles at home. Ideally, I would love to get some premises. We sell to gift shops and gardens centres and to customers who want a bespoke range making.”
■ SCENT ONF SUCCESS: Jo Ribeiro (right) with Sue Heron (left) and Sharon Seymour with the candles made for Concepts Beauty
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KIRKLEES firms enter a competit and forward-thin Global Connecti recognises busi excellence in thr innovation, inter mid-market grow The competition belief that expan UK businesses i those businesse beyond their hom take their produc the growth mark Regional heats w the North and Sc Midlands, South South East and regional winners per region. Thes companies will t national titles. Those companie gain access to le £6m linked to a f to £120,000 – do national winners chance to take p International – a visits and netwo around the world markets. Entrants to the c based in the UK between £2m an been trading for Go to globalcon The deadline for December 8.
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Don’t neglect to do the filing S at the date of writing, there AMore are only 55 days to Christmas! importantly for accountants,
there remains only 92 days to the January 31 Tax Return filing deadline for individual, partnership and trust tax returns to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for the year ended April 5, 2013, if automatic late filing penalties are to be avoided. The penalty for submitting a late return is £100, regardless of whether or not tax remains outstanding and also applies even if you are due a repayment! Returns will need to be submitted to HMRC “online” using their own internet site or commercially approved software. If you are filing a return for the first time, you will need to register with HMRC as soon as possible to be able to file and meet the filing deadline. This may be the case for those who are liable to tax on the receipt of Child Benefit received in the period January 7, 2013, to April 5, 2013. At this stage, returns sent in paper form will, in all but the most exceptional circumstances, attract the late filing penalty. For those who, in the past, have traditionally been tardy in submitting Tax Returns, further penalties can be charged as follows: over three months late – a £10 daily penalty up to a maximum of £900; over six months late – an additional £300 or 5% of the tax
TAX TALK Colin Barratt
due if higher; over 12 months late – a further £300 or a further 5% of the tax due if higher. In particularly serious cases there is a penalty of up to 100% of the tax due. For instance, a 2013 Tax Return submitted late after July 31, 2014, will attract a minimum late filing penalty of £1,300. January 31 is also the deadline for settling any outstanding tax owed for 2012/13 to avoid late payment interest charges. A 5% late payment penalty will be added if any of this tax remains outstanding by March 1, 2014. For those with a tax liability of over £1,000 in 2012/13, they may also need to make payments on account towards their current year’s tax bill at the same time as making the balancing payment for 2012/13. If this becomes the case, each payment on account is automatically 50% of last year’s tax bill with the second payment being due on July 31, 2014. If income falls each payment on account can be reduced to 50% of
Optician focuses on new investment AN opticians with six practices across Huddersfield and Calderdale has made a six-figure investment on state-of-the-art technology in the past three months. Valli Opticians has purchased two Ocular Coherence Tomography machines (OCT), which carry out 3D scans of the hidden layers of the eyes to spot eye health and general health conditions early. The machines are more commonly found in hospitals. The £100,000 investment also includes an Intuitive Colorimeter machine, which is being used by Valli Optometrists to identify unique precision coloured lenses for people who suffer from visual stress, a photosensitive condition that is often the cause of poor reading. Managing director Moin Valli (pictured) said: “Making such a large investment in the latest technologies is part of our commitment to provide our local communities with the very best in professional eye care.” The award-winning Valli Group owns Valli Opticians practices in Meltham, Lockwood, Honley and Mytholmroyd alongside S D Haigh Opticians in Almondbury and Mamtora Opticians in Hebden Bridge. The company also runs a domiciliary eye care business and a corporate eye care business.
the expected current year’s tax bill. If income goes up and the tax bill will be more, the payments on account do not have to be increased but of course come January 31, 2015, it will be catch up time, so you may want to put a bit aside to avoid having to raid the piggy bank or get into arrears with HMRC. For those genuinely struggling to pay their tax liabilities on time, you should contact HMRC as soon as possible to see if an arrangement to pay the tax over an agreed period of time can be made. Whilst completing your 2013 Tax Return may not be high on the list of priorities, do not leave it too late as otherwise the penalties for doing so would be even worse than an unwanted Christmas present.
Colin Barratt is tax partner at Wheawill and Sudworth chartered accountants, Huddersfield
KGA Group backs awards THE cream of the Kirklees business community will assemble at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium next week for a gala evening. The eighth annual Examiner Business Awards, sponsored by law firm Chadwick Lawrence, will recognise outstanding companies and individuals with trophies and certificates. BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration will host the event, which will include a keynote speech by
former Conservative minister David Mellor. Awards organisers have welcomed KGA Group as programme sponsor for the awards evening, which will be held on Thursday, November 14. KGA is an independent non-profit making group which encourages businesses to be socially responsible by supporting voluntary and environmental initiatives and endeavours. It supports and encourages volunteering days, helps businesses build local supply chains and promotes four annual seasonal events, including the Examiner Community Awards.
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Upgrade for 48 hotel bedrooms
A LANDMARK hotel in Huddersfield has invested a six-figure sum in upgrading its bedrooms. The Briar Court Hotel at Birchencliffe is close to completing the refurbishment of its 48 bedrooms. The work began in April and is due to be completed in January. And local companies have been drafted in for the project at the hotel, which opened in 1987 and is owned by the Bevilacqua family, who also own the neighbouring De Sandros restaurant.. Ellis Furniture at Aspley has provided the furniture for the upgrade while Dewsbury-based Skopos provided fabrics and curtains. Painting and decorating business Ramsay Clay, based in Huddersfield, was also brought in to work on the project. Hotel general manager Nor man Simpson said the bedrooms had been upgraded four at a time to minimise disruption to guests. Following the work on the bedrooms, the hotel will turn its attention to the corridors, repainting doors and installing new low-energy lighting. Mr Simpson, who has been at the hotel for nine years, said: “The public areas were upgraded about four years ago, but this is the first time the bedroom furniture has been replaced. “We have used local companies for the work, which is also pleasing. “It is an investment well worth making. We have already had favourable comments from the customers and we are now proud of what we have got.” Improved facilities in the bedrooms – which have been furnished in three different colours schemes – include king-sized beds, full blackout curtains, 32-inc colour TVs with Freeview and Sky Sports, free wi-fi and bedside electrical sockets. The hotel is predominantly used by business people during the week, but also provides accommodation for people visiting the area for relaxation. It is also extremely busy when events such as Huddersfield University graduation
■ NEW LOOK: Norman Simpson, general manager at the Briar Court Hotel, in one of the newly-refurbished bedrooms. The hotel is upgrading all 48 bedrooms and using local suppliers to provide the furnitre and fittings, fabrics and decorations
ceremonies and the Contemporary Music Festival bring thousands of people into the town. The hotel hosts about 650 weddings a year as well as conferences, seminars and meetings.
Mr Simpson said customers expected higher and higher standards from hotels. “Hotel standards generally have improved over the past 10 years and they have had to up their game in terms of service,” he said.
Boost for construction firms ACTIVITY across Britain’s building sites is growing at its fastest pace in six years as civil engineering and commercial works add to the housing rebound. Figures from the closely-watched Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for construction showed a reading of 59.4 in October, up from 58.9 in the previous month and the best rise in output since September, 2007. It is the sixth month in a row of expansion in the construction sector, according to the survey, where a reading of 50 separates growth from contraction. House building has been the key driver of the ever-strengthening rebound, although the pace of expansion in this area slipped slightly from September’s near 10-year high. Residential builders have been buoyed in recent months by easing credit conditions as well as Government initiatives such as Help to Buy, with the latest extension of the scheme offering mortgage guarantees to help buyers get
■ STRENGTHENING: CIPS chief executive David Noble onto the housing ladder. CIPS said other parts of construction continued to bolster their expansion, with commercial players registering the fastest rate of growth since April, 2012, as the improvement in the UK economic outlook boosts confidence.
More than four times as many survey respondents - 52% - anticipate a rise in output over the year ahead as those that forecast a reduction - 12%. Higher levels of new work have also contributed to a robust increase in staffing levels during October. The latest upturn in employment levels was the steepest for six years and contrasted with the lacklustre rate of expansion seen on average in the first half of the year. David Noble, CIPS chief executive, said: “The future is looking bright for the UK construction industry as it soars into the final quarter with its strongest performance in over six years, boosted by a strengthening surge in activity broadening out across all sectors.” The figures mirror the performance of UK manufacturers, with CIPS reporting last week that output and new orders in the sector were close to recent 19-year records.
Finance schemes to complex – FMB FINANCE schemes designed to help small and medium-sized construction firms need to be simplified if they are to aid the economic recovery, it is claimed. The Federation of Master Builders was commenting on a National Audit Office report that criticises the Government for its confused approach towards business funding. Brian Berry (pictured), chief executive of the FMB, said: “Initiatives such as Funding for Lending and the recently launched Business Bank, designed to make financing more accessible for small businesses, are failing to help construction SMEs because the banks remain reluctant to lend to them. “Construction companies need to able to secure financing to grow their business in line with demand, which is why it is so important to remove any barriers that prevent this from happening.” Mr Berry said: “Many small business owners are confused about which finance schemes they can access. “We know from our members that banks, including those backed by Funding for Lending guarantees, are discriminating against companies operating in the construction sector. This is hampering house building, because two-thirds of our house builders are citing difficulty in accessing business finance as a major barrier to their ability to build more new homes.” Mr Berry said: “Unless the Government acts now to unify and simplify the schemes on offer, as well as stamp out discrimination against building firms applying for the loans and overdrafts they need to buy materials, hire plant or take on extra staff, then the opportunities presented by the improving economic conditions will be lost. We also need a reduction in VAT on domestic building work to 5%, which can secure the recovery and rescue the Green Deal. Such a cut would also be an economic boon to householders looking to carry out vital repair and maintenance work and make their homes more energy efficient.”
Householders get advice on flooding HOMEOWNERS in Kirklees have been urged to check they have suitable flood protection measures in place to avoid costly damage to their properties. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said people living in areas prone to flooding should ensure that they have all their flood protection measures – such as flood-proof doors and windows, and non-return valves to the drainage system – in good working order. Making sure gutters and drains are cleared of blockages is also essential, it said. RICS recommends that homeowners consult the RICS Flooding Guide, a free publication designed to help the public prevent and deal with the consequences of flooding. James Ginley, technical manager at Legal and General Surveying Services, said: “The weather in Yorkshire and Humber is certainly unpredictable at the moment, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry as the impact of flooding can be absolutely devastating. “Therefore, it’s essential that homeowners do all they can to protect their properties from flooding with the aid of flood protection measures if appropriate, especially those in high flood risk areas.” The RICS’ Flooding Guide can be downloaded for free at www.rics.org/flooding
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Elland firm to the rescue as energy costs bug business
Birstall development site among star buys at property auction
THERE’S something creepy about Elland consultancy Orchard energy’s new client. The Elland company has landed a deal to help Yorkshire locust and mealworm breeder Livefoods Direct tackle the rising cost of heating its insect breeding houses. Livefoods Direct is the UK’s only commercial breeder of live mealworm and hopes to reduce running costs at its four heated breeding centres in Yorkshire, which supply live insect feed to the exotic reptile trade. The centres produce 1.2m crickets, 150,000 locusts and between 1.5 and 3.5 tonnes of mealworm dependent on the season. General manager Steve Evans said the housing of these and other exotic species such as live morio worms, fruit beetle grubs, giant cockroaches and fruitflies meant energy accounted for 20% of running costs. “We consume large amounts of energy in order to keep breeding and rearing conditions to an optimum,” he said. “Rooms are maintained at anything from 20 to 37 degs C with frozen rodents for birds of prey and snakes being stored at minus 20.” The firm, based in South Yorkshire, was founded in 1981 by Barry Hammond, who sold the business in 2010 to Mr Evans and former works manager Dean Jackson, now managing director. Livefoods Direct employs 36 people and supplies zoos, wildlife parks, universities, pet shops and herpetological
A RESIDENTIAL development site in Birstall has been sold at auction for £214,000. The land at Bridge Street, which was offered at a guide price of £170,000 plus, has outline planning consent for up to 21 properties. Two tenanted properties in Dewsbury, offered on the instructions of the Joint LPA Receivers, also attracted plenty of interest at the auction staged by property agent Eddisons. These included a retail unit with ancillary accommodation on Green Lane, producing annual income of £6,600, which sold for £101,000. The guide was £65,000 plus. Meanwhile, a fully let mixed retail and residential unit on Staincliffe Road generating £9,880 per annum, sold for £90,000. It had been guided at £40,000 plus. Elsewhere, a restaurant on Park Street, Brighouse, which is let at an initial annual rent of £20,000, sold for £160,000. In total Eddisons sold 85 lots at its three day sale in Leeds, Manchester and London, generating total proceeds of nearly £9m. Tony Webber, of Eddisons, said: ‘Strong demand for stock in all categories contributed to the excellent result. “This included residential development land and vacant offices which have been difficult to sell in previous sales. “There were clear signs of increased confidence from investors who turned out in large numbers and along with competitive bidding helped drive many prices well beyond the advertised guide.”
■ MINI-BEASTS: Nohman Ali, of Orchard Energy, with locusts specialists as well as selling online. In addition to its UK client base, the company exports to Germany, Belgium and Holland. “We have an extensive distribution operation that sees us running five temperature-controlled vehicles to ensure the product arrives in pristine condition be it mid-winter or high summer,” said Mr Evans. Orchard Energy will work with management to identify the best prices in the market and implement a strategy for
proactive energy purchasing that will protect the firm’s budgets from market instability. Nohman Ali, of Orchard Energy, said the objective would be to keep overheads low so the firm could plan future investment and growth. He said: “As well as reducing costs, we will be managing administration and supplier relationships so the senior team has more time to focus on what it does best – breeding insects and developing the business.”
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Movers and shakers
Budding tycoons get top tips from Jacob Sarah Crowther & Tom Rodgers
Chadwick Lawrence A LAW firm with offices in Huddersfield has appointed two partners. Chadwick Lawrence has appointed Sarah Crowther, a solicitor and manager of the family law department, and Tom Rodgers, an associate in the wills, probate and trust department in Wakefield, as partners.They are pictured (above centre and right) with managing partner Jeremy Garside.. Ms Crowther qualified in 2004 and has been an assistant solicitor at Chadwick Lawrence since 2008. She specialises in all areas of family law with a particular emphasis on the financial aspects of divorce and separation. She has Specialist Resolution Accreditation in Advanced Financial Provision for medium to high-net worth clients, is a Resolution Member, formerly chaired the Young Resolution Committee for West & North Yorkshire and is secretary to the Huddersfield Incorporated Law Society. Mr Rodgers studied for a law degree at Kings College in London and qualified in 2000. He has worked in the legal sector since qualifying. Having worked in practices in Sheffield, Leeds and now Wakefield, he is also qualified as a Notary Public.
Knight Frank PROPERTY consultancy Knight Frank has promoted Tom Storrar to associate in its residential and commercial valuation team in West Yorkshire. Mr Storrar (pictured), 31, joined Knight Frank last year from Edward Symmons in Leeds, where he worked in its valuation services division. He has also worked for Sanderson Weatherall and Deloitte in Leeds. Chester-born Mr Storrar has a degree in economics and management studies at Leeds University and has an MSc in property appraisal and management from Sheffield Hallam University.
A mine of information A BUSINESS support group is planning a pit stop for its next networking event. The Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce will stage its next Connections Count event from 9.30am to 11am on Thursday at the National Coal Mining Museum, at Overton, near Grange Moor. Connections Count events are held on the first Thursday of the month, with venues rotating between Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. Business owners present “elevator pitches” and follow up new leads over a breakfast of bacon sandwiches, pastries and hot beverages. November’s event will see member company Reach Higher HR make a presentation. Go to www.mycci.co.uk
MORE than 70 budding tycoons heard an inspirational talk from Brighouse-based young entrepreneur Jacob Hill at an event in West Yorkshire. Jacob, who runs The Lazy Camper, selling camping kits in a bag to festival-goers, was speaking in his role as Virgin Media Pioneers’ Yorkshire and Humber Ambassador at the event, which was part of Leeds Business Week. The talk was designed to give young people starting out in business the opportunity to learn about funding and marketing as well as give attendees the opportunity to discuss different issues facing start-ups in the area. Jacob, who is also studying at Huddersfield University, said: “The event was a great success and it was great to see so many different people come along wanting to learn more about how funding and marketing can make a difference to your business. “Hosting the Pioneers event and seeing the enthusiasm of the audience at the Yorkshire event filled me with confidence in the future of young entrepreneurs in this country. “I am already looking forward to next year’s event.” Jacob’s top tips include: Use social media to your advantage; forge alliances with other businesses related to your sector and support each other’s campaigns
■ BUSINESS TALKS: Jacob Hill (right), of The Lazy Camper, with some of the budding entrepreneurs attending the Virgin Media Pioneers Master Class
and promote each other regularly; mimic the big boys – not by copying but by using similar language, colouring and marketing ideas as your customers will instantly relate to it; use the free or cheap resources around you, including the help of family and friends, especially in the start-up stages as this will save a lot of money which
can be used to get your product or service to the prototype stage. Virgin Media Pioneers, a free, digital community connecting young, entrepreneurial talent, is running a series of showcases around the country to prompt more bright sparks to act on their big ideas. Go to www.virginmediapioneers.com.
Book provides a flavour of India
THE founder of an award-winning Yorkshire cookery school has revealed the spicy secrets of her favourite family recipes in a debut cookery book. Prett Tejura of Dewsbury-based Curry Cuisine Cookery School, has launches Family Secrets, which showcases diverse and simple Indian dishes inspired by much-loved family recipes. Prett aims to move curry and Indian food lovers away from uninspiring takeaways and jar-based recipes by giving them the confidence to cook more adventurous and authentic Indian cuisine from scratch at home. The book gives an insight into spice blending with a simple spice guide and an introduction to easy-to-follow, traditional Indian dishes from a basic masala sauce to creamy dhals, as well as regional favourites such as Keralan fish. A selection of street food and nibbles feature, including Chilli Paneer, an Indo-Chinese fusion recipe and Sev and Gantha, an Indian version of crisps. Curry Cuisine Cookery School was set up in 2007 by Prett – a former finance manager and mother of three – and has since flourished to attract a growing customer base. Family Secrets, priced £17.50, is a natural extension of Prett’s cookery school teachings and a celebration of her family’s recipes collected for more than a decade, mixed with newly-created dishes
Jessica Walton, Ben Norman & Rachel Knowles
Country Baskets ■ WINNING RECIPE: Prett Tejura, of Curry Cuisine inspired by travels around India. Said Prett: “It was my mother who inspired me to cook. Ours was a traditional household. I am the fourth child of five siblings and everyone was expected to carry out chores and help around the house. My mother was always busy in the kitchen and with a view that no-one was too young to help!” Family Secrets is available initially online at currycuisinecookery school.co.uk) and at regional food and drink events as well as via the cookery school.
THREE students at Huddersfield University have embarked on a one-year internship with wholesale floristry supplier Country Baskets. The three (pictured) are Jessica Walton, who is studying textile design for fashion and interiors; Ben Norman, who is studying advertising design; and Rachael Knowles, who is studying graphic design. Leeds-based Country Baskets is offering the interns three different roles throughout the course of the year to help them develop a variety of skills. The interns will also be exposed to real-life situations and work as a part of the close-knit team. Jessica has started her internship in the buying department, while Ben began his placement in new business development, and Rachel started her placement in the marketing department.